Jump to content

Ross Vosloo

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Ross Vosloo

  1. On 5/24/2020 at 10:06 AM, Rob Toneguzzo said:

    Wonderful work with beautiful fit and finish.


    On 5/24/2020 at 1:27 PM, Alan Longmire said:

    Good to see you back, and nice work!  

    Thanks man, good to be back

    On 5/27/2020 at 1:45 PM, Brian Dougherty said:

    Looking good!  I understand the slip-joint thing.  I've been exploring that rabbit hole for about a year now.


    I'm curious about the construction of your slip-joints with the bone and wood bolsters.  It looks like you made brass or bronze bushings to peen the pivot pin into.  Do those go all the way through to the liner, or are they more like washers?  



    So that's called a bird's eye pivot. It's basically a thick washer that just serves to spread the load of the pin being peened tight so that you dont mess up a more delicate material, like bone of hippo teeth.

    On 5/28/2020 at 8:48 AM, Gerhard Gerber said:

    Hi Ross


    I was wondering when you were going to show these here B)


    We're both doing this thing without many of the resources available in other parts of the world, but much more so in your case.

    I'm constantly amazed by your progress, and IMO the folders are an even bigger step forward than a sword, well done!

    Thanks boet! I agree, and I cabt expla6how much satisfaction they are giving me right now! 

    • Like 1
  2. Hi all,


    been a while since i was last here. been a difficult first half of the year and hope all are well. 

    heres a picture dump of what ive been up to. 


    recently, Ive been on a slipjoint craze. love making them, theres a whole other dimension with the fit and action. 




    thanks for looking! 



    • Like 3
  3. 8 hours ago, Joshua States said:

    Did you acid etch to try and bring the Hamon out?

    Ja I did. There is definitely a difference in etch between the edge and the spine where I played, but no hamon line. It just blends from one to another and not very good looking at all, that's why I just stuck with a plain finish. No idea what may have happened. 

    46 minutes ago, clint c said:

    Nice work Ross, lots of details and many pieces involved there! And who doesn’t like a giant blade....



    Thanks Clint! 

  4. Hwzt all. Another big project with a few firsts out the way for me. It's a 17" total length bowie, take down construction with a copper frame handle. 


    The steel started out as 3 separate pieces of 1070 that I forge welded into one big billet. I did clay it and differentially heat treat it but no hamon showed up in polishing, so not sure what happened there. 


    Here are the details 


    Steel: 1070 (3 layers forge welded together, hada technique I believe)

    Riveted langets: copper

    Guard: 5160

    Spacers: copper and African blackwood 

    Frame: fileworked copper

    Handle scales: African blackwood (dalbergia melanoxylon)

    Pommel: copper

    Pommel nut: 1070

    Sheath: hand carved and stitched veg tan


    Here is the final shots (also tried my hand at some editing), followed by pics of WIP.

    Frame Handle bowie.jpg

    Original design work



    Successfully forge welded the 3 layers of 3mm 1070 plate together. Was surprised to get an average of 8.5mm thickness across the billet after setting the welds



    my forging is still very much on the safe side. Forge thick and over scale, grind to final shape and dimensions. I did get some distal taper in at least.20200207_182522.jpg


    pre heat treat grinds20200208_151954.jpg


    just after quench. Nice and straight and I thought the hamon took but it never showed up again.20200210_115408.jpg


    planning the frame and langet combo20200210_171540.jpg


    blade polished up and langets riveted on20200214_120103.jpg


    handle pretty much all together but guard not bent yet20200216_175342.jpg


    guard bent up20200217_124828.jpg


    handle polishing20200224_092236.jpg


    Final shots 





    • Like 2
  5. 21 hours ago, Gary Mulkey said:


    Glad to.  This an old blacksmith's technique called a wheat twist.  It's made with two pair of round rods.  With the ends welded together, one is twisted clockwise and the other counter-clockwise.  It's important to regulate the heat and that is done best with an oxy/acet torch.  (Remember that they will twist most where they are the hottest.)  They are then paired side by side and welded together.  I then welded some wrought iron to each end.




    awesome, thanks for the explanation. will have to give it a go

  6. this seems like a very similar problem to what i have with tambotie (Spirostachys africana). its a very hard dense wood with a very high oil content. it has so much oil that single pass with sand paper immidiately gums up. its not too alergic to water, but i have found when that if it makes contact with water that is contaminated with anything, like chlorine, it looses a lot of its colour. 

    it might be a similar problem to what you are experiencing


    just for reference, here is what tambotie looks like



  7. On 2/10/2020 at 8:18 AM, Gerhard Gerber said:

    I'm loath to mention this, but for me that comes round to the "economics" of the matter.......being positive I'm hoping I can makes knives in the future that justifies that amount of time.


    My biggest problem is the pins, as mentioned in my slipjoint thread I only have 4mm brass, I can get 3.2mm brazing rods, and a friends might score some 1.6mm steel pins this week, no idea what steel.....and my drill press chuck can't hold 1.6mm drill bits :ph34r:

    Challenges :lol:


    But no fear, I'm learning a storing information and techniques. B)


    Hey Gerhard


    its funny, i just put up a short video on my instagram today about this. i too cant find pin stock. so i use arc welding rods. 2.5mm are someof the most common, take them to your anvil and gently hammer the flux off, clean with a bit of sand paper and you have a 2.5mm pin. thats what i use for my line up pins

    • Like 1
  8. Well, it's done! 

    Learnt a lot, and although it hasnt turned out exactly how I wanted it to, I'm still very proud for my first sword. 


    Final weight is 1.25 kgs. Handle is African blackwood and brass. Hilt is mild steel. Blade is mild steel and 1070 san mai. 


    My biggest take home, scarf welds are for tangs, not blades! 



    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  9. 22 hours ago, AJ Chalifoux said:

    Looks good so far! Are you going to polish the guard? A quick note on torch tempering: like many I've found it to be inaccurate, but you can improve the accuracy considerably by getting a multimeter and a surface probe thermocouple to check the temperature on both sides of the blade as you go.



    My plan with the guard is to blacken it up in the forge, give it a bit more of a rough as forged look.

    Thanks for the tip with tempering. 

    20 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

    I like it!  I would have used lighter weight stock for the guard, and swept the knuckle bow all the way to the pommel, but this has a heavy, dark, and sinister look that says "I am not a fancy show-rapier, I am a deadly serious blade that will make you rue the day you ever saw me drawn in anger." :ph34r:


    Good job bringing the weight down, too!  A bit on the heavy side for a rapier, but if the balance is right you won't notice.  

    Ja, hindsight being 20/20, I would have used much much smaller stock. I had to grind a lot of the hilt to get the weight down.

    Glad you get the theme I'm going for! If it was wielded by anyone, I would want his name to start with Darth!

    19 hours ago, J.Thompson said:


    Go for broke!!

    A rapier for a first sword is really pushing limits..  I admire your tenacity and determination.  What you have is quite good. It took me years before I tried my first rapier and then  it was just mono steel.  Kudos for a great build, and for the gumption to put it all out there online.

    Awesome.  just awesome..

    Thanks very much! 



    Here's today's work so far



    • Like 2
  10. Been a while since last update. I keep forgetting to post up progress here.


    The heat treat went very well. I quenched to just below critical then straight into a straightening jig, 2 massive plates in the vice. Had only a very slight warp to the tip where the distal taper was.

    Then I had to torch temper the blade. This was a bit tricky, and I think I slightly over heated the blade in one spot, although I have found varying colour charts and sources that say different things about where this type of blade wants to be tempered to.


    next up was grinding the bevels and the fuller.

    The bevels went very well. Then came a real mistake from me. I should have done the fuller first, before the bevels. I also should have made a small wheel attachment for my 2x72 and not used the top idler wheel of the platen.


    Oh well, now I just have lots of clean up to do.

    I also test etched the blade 



    Next I started forging out the swept hilt. Had to try and get a lot of weight out of the hilt after forging 



    and here's where it is right now  handle on, hilt in its final form and a rough pommel. 20200201_183544.jpg


    Still tons of refining and polishing to go, but I'm happy. It feels great in the hand and I managed to get the weight down to 1.2kgs/ 2.6lbs which I think is acceptable. 




    • Like 3
  11. On 1/8/2020 at 7:58 AM, Gerhard Gerber said:

    How did I miss this?? :blink:


    Ross, you are adding to you bag of tricks very quickly, well done.......watching with interest B)

    Haha, no idea bru. Thanks very much.



    So here's where I am right now. 


    Pretty much have the blade forged out to profile. It's at pretty much the perfect length, with the tip on the floor the end of the tang gets up to my belly button. 

    As for width, I have 30mm at the start of the blade tapering right down to 12mm. I think that's going to do it nicely. 




    Now I have to put this blade on a diet. It's at 1.2kg now, and my final finished sword weight is 1kg. So I'm thinking I need to get the blade alone down to around 600grams. Any one have any Thoughts or experiences on weight of the blade when finished ground?



    • Like 1
  12. Been a while since I have had a chance to work on the rapier. My last plan to forge weld cable Damascus to the already forged out 1070 blade is not going to work, for a couple of reasons.


    One, I dont have enough cable. And two, well, I dont trust my abilities to pull off that forge weld yet. So that 1070 blade will get turned into a small sword. It's perfectly dimensioned for that already.


    Onto the rapier. Yes, I'm still making a rapier. A mild steel san mai rapier :D I'm a sucker for punishment.


    What you see here is my billet all welded up. 2 layers of 1070 side by side and then a layer of mild steel either side. I welded up everything to try and prevent any oxygen from getting in because I knew that I could not heat the entire thing at once to forge welding temps... forge is too small.



    Here is the entire billet after setting the welds. Felt good and solid, you can really feel when it starts to firm up under the hammer


    And success!!



    I just etched the end of the billet, but I ground out all the welds along its entire length, both sides and all the welds look good. 


    So I have since started drawing out the blade  I'm about 30% done and will pick it up again tomorrow 

    • Like 1
  13. 6 hours ago, Aiden CC said:

    Not sure if it's true, but when I was working in a steel mill the summer before last, I heard a story from someone who had previously worked at a different mill about a defect no one could figure out until they saw someone shooting a nail gun into slabs that were still molten off of the caster :blink:

    well that would do it

  14. 4 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

    Southern Africa's bread basket :(


    Wasn't even that many years ago I dreamed about going fishing there, now......


    This is not an expert opinion, but totally plausible, the floods in Mozambique not too long ago had such a severe effect because so many trees has been cut down.


    Over here we have internet warriors taking photos of trucks full of plundered Rosewood, only got get assaulted by the Chinese supervisors.......and their big boss is friends with the president.

    @Ross Vosloo guess you're not watching much TV with no electricity, any awareness of our Fishrot-scandal in Zim?

    Fishing is still good in places :D ideally the further away from any people, the better.


    Although I do have a solar setup and a generator,  I dont have DSTV, so the only ever news I see is, well, pretty much nothing. Easier to see life optimistically with out it

  15. Im Zimbabwean, born and bred. i take pride in the fact that every wood i use, is locally sourced. but the list includes african blackwood. im fortunate to have a large stockpile that was harvested 20 years ago during a very bad drought. its been sitting since then. 


    the reality however, is that trees in general are being whole sale taken out here. and for what? FUEL. yup, the woods you would pay quite high prices for in your part of the world, are being burnt as fuel here. why? well, i dont want to get into politics and i wont. but suffice it to say, mismanagement has meant that 99% of the country has to deal with 18hr electricity cuts every single day. and when it is there, it is so expensive that most people cannot afford to use it.


    gas (LPG) has to be imported, and so is expensive, and usually theres a queue a couple for hundred bottles long. petrol and diesel are in such short supply that its standard procedure to queue for up to 9 hours to get maybe 50L. 


    and all this means that, if your not a person of means, you turn to the only other means to cook your food... wood fires. and where does the wood come from? you guessed it. and no thought is given to what kind of wood it is. if it burns, it will do. 


    so no, im not concerned about using small pieces for handles. at least they will last a lifetime and be appreciated. not burned to simply cook a meal. 

    • Like 1
    • Sad 1
  16. ive had limited success (2 attempts, 2 successes) with low layer ladder patterns. just to give you some other ideas :D


    first is 2x 5 layer billets, 1070 and old band saw blades that i then forge welded together with a layer of band saw blade between to give a total of 11 layers, then laddered and forged out to a knife. i did have a few delams, but this was my first ever attempt at Damascus in my gas forge and it was always going to be my personal knife, so i pushed on.



    the next one is 9 layers in one billet, 1070 and 75ni8 then laddered, then forged to knife. 


    • Like 2
  17. Another one done and out the door. I'm going to miss this one.

    Steel is 9 layers of 1070 and 75ni8 laddered. Brass guard, subhilt and pommel. Lathe turned pommel nut. Wood is leadwood (combretum imberbe).


    There were of course, a couple of issues. The steel itself welded up great. But I think i tried to forge to close to final thickness and during the quench I had 2 delams happen on the one side of the blade. Thankfully they dont affect the edge, and after some fairly vigorous testing it's all still together and solid. 


    The handle was a bit of a bummer. There was a knot in the handle that looked fantastic. But leadwood is, although very hard and tough, prone to tearing out. I leant in just a bit too hard and the belt tore out the knot. It gave me the opportunity to try a resin fill. It came out ok, but I regret the red. It should have been black. I was planning on redoing the handle, but a repeat customer of mine saw it and loved it. 


    As always, thoughts and critique welcome 



    • Like 1
  • Create New...